Flaine Exploration - Course Only
7 nights, Flaine, France
I would hate to think that demand may outstrip the supply of this excellent course and leave me unable to re-book for next year; accordingly, it would be better for me for this to be kept under wraps. Perhaps the SkiClub would give me advance notice of next year's dates so that I can secure my place before others jump on to the bandwagon.
This was a "peak experience" week which, given the age range for which the course is intended, would suggest a rather leisurely affair. Not a bit of it. Although some of the participants were 20+years older than me, their skiing technique and level of physical fitness was greater than I had reached even at my prime in my early twenties.
The 25 or so free-tour aspirants were split into 3 groups based on a rather loose initial judgement of technique and physical condition. It really didn't matter into whose group one fell (and I ended up in the group alongside my long suffering friend, Mike, where "falling" is the relevant description of his early virgin off-piste exploits), as all of the instructors were excellent, providing individual tips and advice and, from my perspective, pushing me just beyond my comfort zone.
When faced with adversity, the Aujon drag lift stopped every time we approached it, we simply "skinned up" and walked up the mountain. For many, this was the first experience of lung-busting uphill trudging and Mike nearly called it a day at that point. He was gently persuaded that his boots were not fit for purpose and his 20 year old non-flexing footwear were replaced the next day with a pair of "flashy orange" Lange boots, the third such pair Seb had sold that week to members of the group, myself included.
The final day involved an off-piste dream descent to the bottom and a nightmare 3 hour climb to the top which really tested our stamina and endurance. The relief at finally reaching a piste was palpable and the first post-ski beer slipped down far too easily.
See you next time Jan and friends.